Where These Royal Couples Spent Their Honeymoons

The life of a royal is often incredibly busy. There are royal engagements to attend, charities to support, international destinations to visit on behalf of the country, and of course, the spoils of unimaginable wealth to enjoy. All of the above gets photographed, reported on, and pored over endlessly by royal-watchers around the globe, so it's not hard to see why many royals chafe at the attention they get.

While it may be one of the happiest, a royal wedding is often one of the most heavily-covered events in a royal's life. People around the world tune in to watch elaborate ceremonies in picturesque buildings, picking apart fashion choices, floral arrangements, guest lists, and more. Somewhat less reported-on is what happens next: the royal honeymoon. While everyone seems to agree that weddings are a source of content, royals typically get a break from the watchful eye of the world as they relax on their post-nuptial trips. Royal honeymoons are often shrouded in secrecy, both for security reasons and for the simple fact that the royals want to get away from it all. However, when the royals get back and resume their daily lives, information tends to leak out about where they've just spent their first days as married couples.

Details aren't always forthcoming. The public still doesn't know where Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank jetted off to after their 2018 wedding, for example. However, we've heard about many others, so read on for a look at twelve royal honeymoon destinations.

Queen Camilla was reportedly disappointed in her honeymoon destination

The marriage of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, was unconventional. Because it was the second marriage of both, Queen Elizabeth II didn't attend her own son's wedding. After all, as head of the Church of England, she had to officially disapprove. Nevertheless, Charles and Camilla wed in 2005 and then set out on their honeymoon. 

Camilla was reportedly miserable. "Camilla was praying that sunny Tuscany, a few bottles of Pinot Grigio and long walks in the Italian countryside would relax Charles — and put some zest back in their flagging sex life," an insider dished to OK! magazine. The big problem with that plan: their first stop was Birkhall, a hunting lodge in Scotland on the grounds of Balmoral. Charles received the estate as a gift from the Queen Mother. The insider revealed that Camilla was particularly upset because of the history in the house. "The memories of Diana, who also could not stand the old house, haunt her every time she steps inside," they said.

Eventually, the royal couple left Balmoral and cruised around the Greek islands on a yacht. Still, according to The Telegraph, Charles reportedly spent much of his time on land rather than with his new wife on the boat. He visited the monks on Mount Athos while Camilla stayed on the yacht; according to a spokesman at the monastery, Charles was "painting and discussing philosophical issues with the abbot, as he usually does."

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mozzi drove around France

Given the overwhelming scrutiny that royal couples receive even when they're out of their home countries, it's no surprise that a number of royal newlyweds try to keep their honeymoon plans out of the press. In the case of Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter Princess Beatrice, that plan went well... until it didn't. After her 2020 wedding to Eduardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Beatrice reportedly spent some time in France. We would never have known, except the princess and her new husband were spotted by other tourists who recognized them. One tourist even spoke with the Daily Mail, claiming that they saw the royals driving around in the South of France. They added, "It was such a surprise to see them. Edo was behind the wheel and they looked just like any other couple enjoying the beautiful drive."

After the news broke, a source confirmed the honeymoon to People. The source admitted, "They are on a small honeymoon in France." Interestingly, they also claimed, "They have a longer more luxurious honeymoon planned for August." People wasn't the only outlet to report a second sojourn for the couple; sources told the Daily Mail the same thing, claiming that they would be headed to Lamu Island, part of Kenya, for a bigger honeymoon. Interestingly, it's unclear whether that rumored trip actually wound up happening! 2020 was, after all, a tumultuous time for travel.

Prince William and Princess Catherine relaxed in the Seychelles

When Prince William married Catherine, Princess of Wales, back in 2011, nearly a billion people worldwide watched coverage of the royal wedding. Fewer people are aware of what happened next, however, as William and Catherine jetted off to the Seychelles for a ten-day honeymoon. In fact, we only found out where they'd been when they got back. "[The royals] thoroughly enjoyed their time together, and they are grateful to the Seychelles government for their assistance in making the honeymoon such a memorable and special 10 days," the palace confirmed in a statement to People.

Hello! magazine reported that the royals stayed at North Island, a private island that offers its guests unparalleled luxury. William and Catherine's dining options were all set thanks to a private chef on call in addition to numerous nearby five-star restaurants. The magazine also noted that, after the Prince and Princess of Wales stayed there, the island has been the honeymoon destination of choice for luminaries such as George Clooney and Salma Hayek.

It seems that the Seychelles were happy to have them. Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam told the Associated Press, "The people of Seychelles are truly honored that Prince William and his wife chose to return to Seychelles for this special holiday and we are proud to have been able to offer them a peaceful and private getaway." They received a painting as a gift from the President of the Seychelles, and the artist told Us Weekly, "I'm very proud."

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III spent a month on a yacht

The wedding of Hollywood royalty Grace Kelly to Monacan royal Prince Rainier III was an international event. Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis reportedly set the whole thing up, according to Robert Evans' book "The Fat Lady Sang." Onassis told the prince, "Get off your royal a**. Find yourself a bride." The implication, according to Evans, was that a royal wedding would make Monaco an international tourist destination. The prince found Kelly, star of "Rear Window," fresh off her Oscar win for "The Country Girl." When the two got married in 1956, Onassis gave Kelly a yacht called the Deo Juvante II.

The Prince and Princess of Monaco used the yacht on their honeymoon. According to UPI, they first sailed to "Iberia," the prince's nickname for his villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France. Also on the reported itinerary was a trip to Italy, where the royal couple would meet with Pope Pius XII. In actuality, they don't seem to have met the Pope until the following year, when he gave an address that complimented Monaco. "The territory of your Principality extends over a corner of privileged earth: hills in graceful outline, a promontory with a welcoming roadway whose calm waters, stirred by the swift coursing of sailboats, reflect the azure of the heavens and the image of a peaceful dwelling place," Pope Pius XII told the newlyweds.

The yacht has since been renamed after the "Dial M for Murder" star, according to Travel and Leisure, and is available for luxury vacations.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left for their honeymoon in secret

Like many of their peers, the honeymoon of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was initially kept under wraps. ABC News Royal Contributor Roya Nikkhah told "Good Morning America," "It's believed they are spending some time in Africa, possibly Namibia, and potentially [taking] another trip after that." There was also some reporting that they were staying in a castle in Ireland; Harper's Bazaar rounded up tweets from visitors to Ashford Castle suggesting security had been heightened, which might have given it away as a honeymoon destination. E! News reported that they traveled around the continent of Africa. "It was the perfect break and blend of their passions," a source told the outlet.

It wasn't until Prince Harry's 2023 memoir "Spare" that we got official confirmation of their honeymoon destination. First, though, the couple needed to get out of London, a move that involved some duplicity to throw the media off their trail. "Our honeymoon was a closely guarded secret," he wrote. "We left London in a car disguised as a removals van, the windows covered with cardboard." Once they'd given the paps the slip, the royals were free to enjoy themselves. "[We] went to the Mediterranean for 10 days," Harry recalled. "Glorious to be away, on the sea, in the sun." 

It seems to have done them good. Hello! spoke with someone who saw Harry shortly after he returned, and their source said, "It seemed like he was still on cloud nine."

Wallis Simpson and her former king went to Austria

One of the earliest events that made Americans take notice of the royal family was the marriage of King Edward VIII to American socialite Wallis Simpson. In fact, when they married in 1937, he was no longer King Edward VIII; he voluntarily gave up his throne in exchange for love, and they were titled Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The pair honeymooned in Austria. Decades later, a resurfaced letter from Simpson to her cousin revealed how unhappy she had been leading up to the wedding. According to the Daily Mail, Simpson wrote, "The last six months have been such a nightmare of every emotion and the exercising of so much self control that in the midst of it all I am afraid I neglected all those I love the best, thinking they would understand the most."

The honeymoon, however, seems to have been restorative. "Here I am at last with my king sitting on a mountain in Austria — where it is really lovely and peaceful — we hope here to gather strength for future battles," Simpson wrote. It also seems that Austria was only the first stop on their honeymoon. "We expect Aunt B. on Wednesday for a short visit," she wrote, "and after her departure we will go to Venice for some sea bathing." Photographers captured the royal couple on a beach in Venice on July 30, 1937, confirmation that their honeymoon lasted more than a month.

King Charles III's honeymoon cufflinks insulted Princess Diana

It seems that King Charles III hasn't had much luck keeping his new brides happy on his honeymoons. Like his second wife, Princess Diana was also reportedly unhappy to be taken to Balmoral after tying the knot with the future king. In particular, she was upset to find Charles wearing a particular piece of jewelry. "Almost unbelievably Charles wore cufflinks with the C and C, meaning Charles and Camilla," royal commentator Rich Fitzwilliams revealed in the documentary "Charles and Camilla: King and Queen in Waiting" (via The Mirror). Diana, understandably, wasn't happy.

Thankfully, the royals soon left Balmoral and headed out on a more picturesque honeymoon. Aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, they traveled to Gibraltar. The ship's photographer captured snapshots of the couple on their honeymoon, and the pics resurfaced on the British edition of "Antiques Roadshow" only recently. Petty officer Terry Smith revealed on the show (via the Daily Mail), "Charles and Diana were very friendly and chatty. They could relax here, and it was nice to see them on board in normal clothing like ourselves — just a pair of jeans and T-shirts. Diana was like a breath of fresh air, like a girl just out of school."

A letter written by Diana on Royal Yacht Britannia stationary revealed her primary activity while on the trip. According to Vanity Fair, the Princess of Wales wrote, "The honeymoon was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's honeymoon do-over

Back before she took the throne, Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip and embarked on a two-part honeymoon. First, with her Corgi Sue in tow, the queen and prince left London and headed to Broadlands in Hampshire, where the prince's family had an estate. Before setting off for the second leg of their relaxation, the newlyweds released a statement through the palace that read, "Before we leave for Scotland tonight we want to say that the reception given us on our wedding day and the loving interest shown by our fellow-countrymen and well-wishers in all parts of the world have left an impression which will never grow faint." They concluded by offering thanks to everyone who made their wedding so memorable.

Oddly, they had to re-shoot their wedding photos while on honeymoon. The queen's bouquet was misplaced on the morning of her wedding day, so there were no photos of her carrying the elaborate floral arrangement that had been prepared for her. In a documentary called "Invitation to a Royal Wedding" (via Mirror), a florist named David Longman revealed that his father was the one who crafted the bouquet. "In the middle of their honeymoon they had to get dressed up again in their wedding clothes and my father had to provide another bouquet for those photos," he said. "To ensure this mistake never happens again, every royal bride now has two bouquets."

Princess Caroline of Monaco and Philippe Junot stopped in New Jersey

Grace Kelly wasn't the only Princess of Monaco whose wedding and subsequent honeymoon captivated the world. In 1978, her daughter Princess Caroline married banker Philippe Junot. Like her royal parents, Princess Catherine enjoyed a long, globe-trotting honeymoon. Among other stops, their newlywed vacation took them to Tahiti; a Getty photographer captured the couple wearing leis at an airport.

Interestingly, the honeymoon ended several weeks later in New Jersey, where they were joined by Princess Grace at the home of the actor's mother. Time reported that the "Dial M for Murder" star met up with her daughter and new son-in-law in Ocean City, New Jersey. They also had an official engagement while there. Caroline and Junot attended a horse race in Atlantic City, where they presented the winner's cup to the jockey who rode a horse called Gay Jitterbug to victory.

Their marriage was not to last; almost immediately, the tabloids ran stories containing accounts of Junot cheating. The Australian Women's Weekly, for one, reported that Junot accompanied British heiress Agnetta von Furstenberg on a disco-filled night out. "Philippe is irredeemably Philippe. It doesn't mean the marriage is breaking up — not yet," an acquaintance told the magazine. "But he has no idea of the responsibilities." The marriage did indeed break up, and they separated only two years after their wedding. Junot said he did not see the split coming, according to The Washington Post.

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon cruised the Caribbean

In 1960, Princess Margaret, younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, married Antony Armstrong-Jones, better known as Lord Snowdon. Just as King Charles III and Princess Diana one day would, Margaret spent her honeymoon aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. Whereas the next generation of royals sailed to Gibraltar, Margaret and her new husband took the yacht cruising around the Caribbean.

After visiting Antigua and Trinidad, the yacht's next stop was the island of Mustique. There, they visited Margaret's friend and former lady-in-waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, and her husband Colin Tennant. Margaret's friends confessed to not having gotten her anything for her wedding; as an apology, they gave her a ten-acre plot of land on the island.

Their honeymoon would be the only time Lord Snowdon visited, but Margaret fell in love with Mustique. She returned a few years later, having a house built on her land. "She arrived with no fuss a few months later, happily using the bucket of water in the trees to shower, just like we did," Lady Glenconner recalled in a memoir excerpted by the Daily Mail. The difference between her island life in the Caribbean and her life in England was stark, but that's apparently exactly what the princess wanted. As Mustique bar owner Basil Charles said in the BBC documentary "The Rebel Royal" (via People), "[Margaret was] a little bit of a rebel. She wanted to have the [royal] life, but she also wanted to have a normal life."

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia relaxed in Fiji

In 2015, Swedish royal Prince Carl Philip married Sofia Hellqvist, a former reality TV star from the show "Paradise Hotel." The royal wedding was like few others; according to People, the fairytale nuptials were soundtracked by Top 40 songs like Rihanna's "Umbrella." After tying the knot, Prince Carl Philip thanked the crowd that'd gathered around the venue to celebrate his big day. "You want to celebrate the love, and that shows that Sweden is a warm country," he said from the balcony.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia wanted to celebrate their love, too. To that end, they embarked on a honeymoon in Fiji, according to Swedish news source Aftonbladet. They even took a business-class flight to the island nation, where they reportedly stayed on Laucala, a private island resort owned by Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz.

The couple kept their island vacation short so that the prince could get back to one of his favorite pastimes: racing. "The honeymoon will last just 12 days ... when Carl Philip will drive a race," Swedish royal reporter Johanna Lejon told People. He didn't end up driving in the planned race, according to a statement from Volvo Polestar Racing published by Touring Car Times, but the royal couple was indeed in attendance. He raced a few weeks later, and he won. "It was incredibly nice to win and important for confidence," he told a local newspaper (via the Daily Mail).

Zara and Mike Tindall used their honeymoon to talk things out

The love story of Mike and Zara Tindall was initially a tumultuous one. Zara — who is the daughter of Anne, Princess Royal — fell in love with the rugby player while they were both in Australia. "First actual date, just went out for lunch locally," he recalled on an episode of "I'm a Celebrity — Get Me Out of Here." "And [it] ended up being quite a boozy one. Then we figured out that we both quite like getting smashed. It was a good start."

Their wedding took place in 2011, just a few months after Prince William married Catherine, Princess of Wales. It was much more low-key; Zara doesn't always associate herself with the pomp and circumstance that usually comes with her bloodline. "She regards herself as a sportswoman not as a royal," Majesty magazine editor Joe Little told the BBC. "She would even dispute the fact it's a royal wedding."

Mere months later, before they even had a chance to take a honeymoon, Mike was caught on CCTV kissing another woman. The Daily Mail revealed her identity as Jessica Palmer, a former girlfriend of the athlete. Mike and Zara finally embarked on their honeymoon a few weeks after the scandal, jetting off to Cyprus to stay at what the Daily Mail called a "package deal" hotel. They were pictured sunbathing and were spotted kissing, suggesting that all was forgiven. The power of a honeymoon.